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Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri

Nokia announced a deal to acquire French telecom company Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion, taking the biggest step yet to rebuild its business following the sale of its smartphone division to Microsoft last year for $7.2 billion.

In a related statement, Nokia said it has begun “a review of strategic options, including a potential divestment,” for its HERE mapping and location business.

HERE has a substantial presence in the Seattle region following its acquisition of Medio Systems last year. Microsoft agreed to a long-term license of the HERE technology as part of its Nokia deal.

“The Board of Directors of Nokia believes this is the right moment to assess the position of HERE within the proposed new Nokia business,” said Nokia in a statement. “The strategic review of HERE is on-going and it may or may not result in any transaction.”

We’ve contacted Microsoft representatives to see if the Redmond company will be exploring a possible HERE acquisition, considering its ties to the Nokia business.

The combination of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent will be based in Finland, and it will have more than 40,000 employees in research and development. Nokia says the new company “will be in a position to accelerate development of future technologies including 5G, IP and software-defined networking, cloud, analytics as well as sensors and imaging.”

“Together, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia intend to lead in next-generation network technology and services, with the scope to create seamless connectivity for people and things wherever they are,” said Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri in a statement.

More coverage: New York Times, Financial Times, and Fierce Wireless.

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